League of Nations: the Blues stumble in front of Denmark

Nations League: Blues stumble past Denmark


France was crushed 2-0 by Denmark on Sunday in Copenhagen, and only owes their stay in the top flight of the League of Nations to the defeat of Austria, a meager consolation for not very dashing world champions two months from Qatar. 

The Blues were certainly weakened by a cohort of injured before the clash against the “Danish Dynamite”, attractive semi-finalist of the last Euro, but they had enough reserves to hope to silence the noisy Parken and his some 36,000 red supporters and white.

Weary, Didier Deschamps' men suffered in the face of opposing battering, even sinking before half-time in front of Kasper Dolberg (34th) and Andreas Skov Olsen (39th).

It was a very sad last outing for the Blues before the big departure for Doha, where they will cross paths with the Danes again on November 26 for their second match of the World Cup.

Fortunately for them, Luka Modric's Croatia went to win in Vienna at the same time, which sends Austria into League B of the League of Nations, the equivalent of the second division, rather than France which counts one more point.

The Blues' campaign got off to a bad start in June, after four games without a win, and Thursday's victory against Austria (2-0) was only a mistake -the eye, a rare brightening in the greyness.

The black series is rare for the Deschamps band, as dark as the cascade of injuries that accompanied this return to school, from Paul Pogba to N'Golo Kanté, via Hugo Lloris, Presnel Kimpembe, the brothers Theo and Lucas Hernandez , Kingsley Coman and Karim Benzema.

Camavinga, failed comeback

In this context, the boss of the Blues bet on a team much less experienced than usual, populated by players having for some an enormous pressure on the shoulders: that of seducing to integrate the list of the World Cup, expected in the week November 7.

At the age of 19, Eduardo Camavinga put on the blue for the first time in two years, with a lackluster result. The Real Madrid midfielder lost balls, lacked impact and created too few chances.

Deschamps even replaced him at half-time with Youssouf Fofana who, three days after his first flight, was more consistent alongside Aurélien Tchouaméni. The latter is, on the contrary, part of the Blues who have been rising for several months, regardless of his pairs (Pogba, Kanté, Guendouzi, Kamara, Rabiot …).

In Copenhagen, the red wave has submerged in sequence the young tricolor guard who, at kick-off, had five selections on average with goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and the three central backs Dayot Upamecano (23 years old), Benoît Badiashile and William Saliba (21 years old), the latter being replaced from the break.

Set pieces and crosses burst out and the absence of the usual ramparts, Lloris (forfeited in September) and Raphaël Varane (substitute), was noticed.

In front, the attackers did not did not find the key to deceive Kasper Schmeichel, voted player of the match, like Kylian Mbappé's double chance in the 67th minute, thwarted by the Nice goalkeeper. 

Armband wearer for the first time, Antoine Griezmann was no luckier (15th, 70th). Olivier Giroud remained at 49 goals, two goals from Thierry Henry's record, without it being known yet if he will have the opportunity to approach the mark of his elder.

Deschamps keeps the suspense on the international future of the AC Milan striker, 36, next week. The coach has repeatedly repeated that it was “difficult” humanly for the world champion to be confined from now on to a role of understudy of Karim Benzema, currently forfeited.

In any case, the questions do not not miss before the announcement of the list for the World Cup. And worries, either.